With this Summer’s styles, your body is going to be on show on the beach, in the park and on those hot Summer nights out, so it is a good time to watch the calories and add a body-sculpting routine to your regular workout, that will get you feeling good, enjoying your body and happy to have it on show.
The first principle is to do lots of cardio workouts to burn lots of calories, eat away any excess fat and reveal the shape of the lean muscles underneath. Cardio work also tends to slim and shape the muscles to a leaner, longer profile.
Cardio means sustained low-impact exercise that makes you sweat, best interspersed with bursts of exercise that make specific muscle groups work harder, to shape and tone them. Running, rowing, cross-training and cycling are all common cardio exercises, but for best effect you need a good hour of any one or a combination of these to really work up a sweat. Run 5 km and you will have had a great cardio workout.
If you alternate between different types of cardio exercise or just want to break the overall run or cycle, stop every kilometre for a burst of intense exercise. The following are great shapers.
Stand with you toes on the edge of a pavement, drop your heels as far as you can and then stand as high on your toes as you can. Do 30 reps and then carry on running. For faster results in the gym, use the leg press machine and add some weights.
Stand with feet together, then lunge forward on one leg, bending deeply at the knee. Do 10 with one leg, then 10 with the other, then start again.
Alternatively, do deep squats, either free-standing, or for faster results, on the leg press machine in the gym, with weights.
A tight, sculpted bottom
For the back, pull yourself up on a bar or, if in the gym, do pull-downs with a long bar to just in front of the chin.
For the gluteus, the lunges and squats you do for your thighs will work this too, but try to add some high backward kicks – at least 30 – at the end of your workout.
The flat stomach – abs like a washing board!
The stomach is revealed once the overall fat layer on the body is thinned by general cardio work, but once this happens, you want to reveal a trim set of muscles underneath. This comes from forward kicks across the body, with you foot to the level of the shoulder – at least 30 per leg, from stomach curls (sit-ups without the strain on the back) and from spending 5 minutes a day doing “the plank”. This involves a straight body, face down, supported only by elbows and toes. Feel the burn!
The stomach also looks better if you develop the so-called serratus muscles at the side of the chest – best done with the pull-downs described for back muscles above.
A perkier, firmer breast that stands more forward and firm always looks younger and better. This can be easily achieved by building the chest muscles underneath, to support and lift the breast.
Push-ups – at least 30 a day – or bench press with a partner assisting in the gym, are both good ways of achieving this quite quickly.
So, lots of cardio to burn away any excess fat, interspersed with the toning and shaping exercises here and you will be set for a stunning Summer.
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